Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Boris v Samantha


Boris and Samantha have a bet. Whoever trains the most in a week earns $2. Interesting idea. As best I can tell, the 3rd week is nearly over and it looks like Samantha will win this week and be ahead 2-1 (and $2 richer).

It is an interesting competition. Samantha hasn't really trained a lot in the past. She's averaged about 275 hours the last four years. Boris, on the other hand, trained roughly 450 hours a year for a couple of years, then ran into some injury problems and has averaged less than 250 hours the last two years.

You can make a good argument that betting about training volumes to motivate training is a great idea. You can also make a good argument that it is a terrible idea.

My opinion is that it is a worthwhile experiment. Experimenting is a good thing.

The competition is also a good opportunity to spend a few minutes looking at their training. In the past, I've dissected Boris' training...part one and part two. I've also spent some time looking at how Samantha trains. Today I compared the most recent three weeks using my grading system.

Here are the basics of the grading system:

Did you run? You get 1 point.
Did you run fast? You get another point.
Was your run hilly? You get another point.
Was your run in the terrain? You get another point.
Did your run involve navigation? You get another point.
Did you run more than 90 minutes? You get another point.

Except, you can't get more than 5 points for a run.

Did you do some alternative training? That's worth a point.

Did you take a day off after training for at least 2 days in a row? That's worth a point for an earned rest day.

Back to Samantha v Boris.

In the week that ended November 22, Samantha trained for 7:51 and got 14 points; Boris trained 5:56 but got 15 points. Samantha won $2, but Boris' training looks pretty good under my grading system.

In the week that ended November 22, Samantha trained for 7:00 and got 14 points; Boris trained for 8:09 and got 19 points. Boris won $2 and had a good week under my grading system.

As of today, for the week that ends tomorrow, Samantha has trained 6:59 minutes and got 11 points; Boris has trained 4:55 and got 8 points. Looks like Samantha will win $2 and has a higher grade under my system.

So what? Yes, so what. I don't really have any point to make or any conclusion, but it was an interesting exercise to go through.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 5:49 PM


Maybe we should revise the bet to use your system. Then I'd be up 2-1!
My excuse this week is traveling to Indiana...
You should give a point for strength training too.
I give strength training a point as "alternative training."

How many points did Mike Smith and Patrick Goeres get?
how would a 3hr mtb ride score? 1 point for alternate training, or 3 for alternate + hills + 90min+ ?
I'd have scored the 3 hr mtb ride as a 1 point for alternate training. Nothing else, the hills and over 90 minutes only get applied if it is on foot.

First, I'd like to generally endorse Spike's scoring system. Given its simplicity, I think it does a good job of evaluating O training.

Given the current fashions, I was especially pleased, and admittedly surprised, to see the weighting given to cross training. I think this is an important point, and Spike has it exactly right, not worthless, but limited value compared to other activities.

At the same time, I happened to be thinking about this very issue (endurance cross training) today. I'd be willing to give an extra point for overdistance/time efforts in two selected cross training activities, biking and XC skiing, BUT one would have to do at least TWICE, and possibly 3x the effort.

My basis for this is an old second hand oral report about Øyvin Thon's training, that in the winters he would do much XC skiing, but would only count 1/4 or 1/3 of the time. For myself, I "liberally" counted 1/2 the time I put in skiing (it wasn't much.) This simply felt right to me, so I would allow others to do the same, and I think biking (mtn or road)deserves to be in the same category.

Actually I would lobby for a longer time to get overdistance/time point, say 2 hours, but that might be pushing things, especially since I'm already messing with Spike's simplicity principle.:-) Anyway, ride 4 hrs, I'd give you an extra point.

A seasonally appropriate issue- I would also allow running in snow, over say 20cm/8"(maybe even 6")to count as hills. I think deep snow running is one of the most relevant physical things an orienteer can do, simply hard work with the exaggerated push off and knee lift that is very relevant to soft Nordic forests. Where is next year's WOC?

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